The 1983 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament involved 52 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men’s NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 2, 1983, and ended with the championship game on April 4 at The Pit, then officially known as University Arena, on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. A total of 51 games were played.
North Carolina State, coached by Jim Valvano, won the national title with a 54�52 victory in the final game over Houston, coached by Guy Lewis. The ending of the final is one of the most famous in college basketball history, with a buzzer-beating dunk by Lorenzo Charles, off a high, arching air ball from 30 feet out by Dereck Whittenburg providing the final margin. This contributed to the nickname given to North Carolina State, the “Cardiac Pack”, a reference to their often close games that came down to the wire � in fact, the team won 7 of its last 9 games after trailing with a minute left in the game. Both Charles’ dunk and Valvano’s running around the court in celebration immediately after the game have been staples of NCAA tournament coverage ever since. North Carolina State’s victory has often been considered one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history, and is the fourth biggest point-spread upset in Championship Game history.
Hakeem Olajuwon of Houston was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, becoming the last player to date to earn this award while playing for a team that failed to win the national title.